Deal struck on UAV engine technology

July 25, 2011 at 1:09 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 25 (UPI) -- Goodrich Corp. signed distribution agreement with an Australian firm for technology developed for small gasoline and heavy fuel UAV engines.

Under the agreement, Goodrich will become a worldwide distributor for the marketing, selling and integration of Currawong Engineering Pty Ltd.'s high efficiency electronic fuel injection technology called SEEFIS.

The Currawong SEEFIS technology, already tightly integrated with Goodrich's industry-standard Piccolo autopilot, can dramatically increase the engine reliability and fuel efficiency of unmanned aerial vehicles and extend their range to achieve longer mission profiles.

Goodrich said that with the agreement, the combined EFI-autopilot solution will also be supported through Goodrich's sales and support channels, greatly extending the global reach and access to Currawong's product and the combined solution in the UAV community.

"This agreement continues a long working relationship between Goodrich and Currawong," said Ken Hosking, chief operating officer of Currawong. "We have successfully co-developed technological advancements and this extends the relationship into a further important market area."

"The capability of converting gasoline engines to heavy fuel operation and integrating the engine's controller with the autopilot can dramatically increase reliability, which is a major benefit for the UAV industry," said Ross Hoag, chief engineer of Goodrich's ISR Systems team in Hood River, Ore.

"Electronic fuel injection offers substantial improvements in endurance to UAV engines allowing for more persistent ISR capability, and is in high demand."

The Hood River facility, Cloud Cap, was acquired by Goodrich in 2009 and is part of its ISR Systems business. The Hood River team specializes in UAV system components including its industry standard Piccolo autopilots and advanced TASE stabilized gimbaled camera systems. Cloud Cap products are widely used in military combat operations as well as many commercial applications worldwide.

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